Headlines > News > Newest USAF Weather Satellite Ready For Launch

Newest USAF Weather Satellite Ready For Launch

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Oct 8, 2009 7:09 am via: source
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

VANDENBERG AFB, Calif, (Lockheed Martin) — The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-18 Block 5D-3 spacecraft, built under contract for the U.S. Air Force by Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT], is undergoing final preparation for a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on October 18, 2009.

“After several years of building, integrating, upgrading and testing DMSP F-18, our third Block 5D-3 spacecraft, we’re eagerly anticipating this launch so that this satellite can carry out its vital mission of supporting our warfighters,” said Sue Stretch, Lockheed Martin DMSP program director. “Our partnership with the Air Force dates to the very beginning of the DMSP program with a common goal of ensuring that commanders have access to environmental data critical to the preparation and execution of military operations.”

DMSP

DMSP

The Block 5D-3 series accommodates larger sensor payloads than earlier generations. They also feature a larger capability power subsystem; a more powerful on-board computer with increased memory — allowing greater spacecraft autonomy — and increased battery capacity that extends the mean mission duration. Starting with F-17, the attitude control subsystem has also been enhanced with the integration of a second inertial measurement unit using ring laser, versus mechanical, gyros to provide greater precision pointing flexibility.

DMSP is used for strategic and tactical weather prediction to aid the U.S. military in planning operations at sea, on land and in the air. Equipped with a sophisticated sensor suite that can image visible and infrared cloud cover and measure precipitation, surface temperature, and soil moisture, the satellite collects specialized global meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-geophysical information in all weather conditions. The DMSP constellation comprises two spacecraft in near-polar orbits, C3 (command, control and communications), user terminals and weather centers. The most recent launch of a DMSP spacecraft took place on November 4, 2006 from Vandenberg Air Force Base. DMSP F-18 will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

In addition to DMSP F-18 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, two satellites remain to be launched and are maintained at Space Systems’ operations in Sunnyvale, Calif. for storage, functional testing, and upgrading. The spacecraft are shipped to Vandenberg for launch when requested by the Air Force. Since 1965, 36 Lockheed Martin DMSP satellites have been launched successfully by the U.S. Air Force. Now in its fourth decade of service, the DMSP has proven itself to be a valuable tool in scheduling and protecting military operations on land, at sea and in the air. The Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. manages the DMSP program.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs and develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security and military, civil government and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; ballistic missiles; missile defense systems; and nanotechnology research and development.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use